April 25, 2014
Essay 3: Rough Draft
Creating an Environment for Growth
The elementary school public education system is in trouble and there are more ideas on how to change it than one person can digest. Most of the ideas are addressing the wrong question. Instead of focusing on what can be added or what can be changed, we need to look at what is missing. Children are inherently curious, creative, and diverse; if we keep this in mind, the answers are clear. Nurture their natural pathways of learning in a collaborative environment and standardized testing can become a thing of the past. What matters most is guiding students to grow with a solid balance in academics, creativity, and critical thinking. Three priorities that can facilitate an ideal learning environment that will produce a learning explosion are paramount. Curriculum that promotes learning instead of memorizing, giving effort and creativity as much weight as product output, and rethinking the school year and days to better emphasize the importance of education, will naturally create individuals who not only want to go to school, but see the value and importance of attending.
What is vital for children, as well as all people, to learn and understand new concepts is to relate to them with the materials that is not abstract, inapplicable or meaningless such as the way education is delivered today. It is relatively easy to explain a mathematical formula to a group of children in order to produce acceptable scores on an assessment, but if they cannot apply the information to real life situations, the information is useless. Didactic teaching has a place in education, but must engage students and align with their attention span. Elementary education has become an environment of teachers talking at students...